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Jibralta
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43 minutes ago, reinventmyself said:

I can't recall if they ever actually met, but they did have a curious relationship of sorts.

You know, I've been reading birthmother blogs lately and it's so interesting. I realize that I grew up with a very simplistic view of adoption as a whole. A lot of birthmothers are very angry. They feel like they were taken advantage of at the time they gave their child up. I thought this article was particularly compelling:

https://www.firstmotherforum.com/2021/12/birth-mother-grief-is-acknowledged-at.html

The author writes, "Our lives as women who relinquished our children are suffused with this ambiguous grief that we normally can't acknowledge in public. Do I tell a stranger or a new acquaintance who asks about children the whole story? Do I say, I had one daughter and she died? Do I say that I had one daughter and gave her up for adoption and then I found her, and then she died? How do I answer the question, Did you have any children?"

I find that sentiment very understandable and relatable.

At the end of the article are some comments. One woman expresses anguish over giving her child up for adoption. An adoptee responds and tells her to forgive herself. I thought, Oh good. That should be helpful. But no. It was not viewed as helpful at all. These ladies tore that adoptee down! 

Seems like a very interesting community to peruse.

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3 hours ago, itsallgrand said:

Oh that's great, so there is some support behind you in this right?! 

Yes. Nobody is against it, but I don't exactly have a cheerleading squad behind me, either.

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Good morning Jibralta,

 

It’s a dilemma regarding your birth Mum. I personally think you should do it! I know you can’t “undo” if it turns out not as expected but I always think if you don’t, you will always wonder right? 
 

All the best,

 

x

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1 hour ago, mylolita said:

Because I am a shameless show off and a slave to nostalgia I have given in and indulged posting these pics but it’s dawned on my small little brain that I am blowing my  anonymity big time as anyone who thought they might know me or cotton on from tot bits in my blog would have it all confirmed seeing parts of our previous house here so I’ll ask admin to delete these soon, sorry Jib! 
 

x

Click on the 3 dots and then hide but it will hide the whole thing. You might want to copy your answer and paste it again in a new post

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8 minutes ago, dias said:

Click on the 3 dots and then hide but it will hide the whole thing. You might want to copy your answer and paste it again in a new post

Thanks Dias I will later today.

 

I just loved that house so much. The new one is just as nice, more homely though. 
 

Someone to rescue with a tech mind huh! 

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2 hours ago, mylolita said:

And sorry to bomb your journal here Jibs last note from me - but quick response Batya!

 

Regarding furnishings, I think it‘s a common misconception that furnishings depreciate and leave holes in your wallet. If you shop smart and antique, they become assets abs investments. Nearly all the furniture and art in our old house, are investment pieces or what we would class as assets that can be sold on for profit. For example, we had an absolutely huge break front mahogany bookcase made by some Victorian London firm I can’t remember the company, my husband would know, this is going back two years now. It was along a wall in our basement. We bought it for I think £1,100 it seemed cheap, if you’d seen it and the workmanship you would have agreed. It was just so huge a piece of furniture that I think the guy selling it was sick of no one having the room to buy it and offloaded it onto us happily.

 

We advertised it and a lawyer from London came down wanting it for his office to keep all his legal volumes in. He paid us £12,000. If you do it right you can’t go wrong with certain furniture and art and curios.

 

Just a few pictures of our house and what I mean by the old furniture and art. We had just a lovely William and Holland copper bath in our bedroom, all of the art is original. We sold a lot of our furniture for big profit onto the owners that bought the house. I don’t know if you have ever heard of an artist called William Etty? Some of my favourite original paintings we have are by him. He painted all the Greek mythological scenes. If you look him up he is very famous.

 

All our mirrors were even antique, I was really pained to have to use anything new. All our bathrooms had art and antiques in them, antique chairs etc.

 

This is the last on it! But decorating and furnishings for me anyway are definitely not a waste of time or money when done right and are a much more solid investment than savings in the bank, again, in my humble opinion, I am definitely no stock market pro I know nothing of that, just like having real items and I’m a romantic so absolutely adore old objects from the past!

 

Whether you rent or own, if you are happy, that’s all that matters. My debate lies on whether it is financially sensible but I think that’s where we disagree respectfully!

 

x

 

 

 

 

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Beautiful! Yes I respectfully disagree as I know of many many examples where people are trying to offload expensive furniture at deep discounts for various reasons right now and many stories of people spending thousands on furniture that didn't last/work properly.  Sounds like you have a particular talent! We own several pieces of antique furniture but we inherited them. To me they just take up space.  My sister has no furniture at all.  Maybe a chair. Sleeps on the floor.  One bedroom in a lovely retirement community right near a beach.  Which she walks daily.  She loves loves loves having space and no furniture and loves that she can move easily if needed.  I tend that way too (although we have all this antique furniture courtesy of my husband). 

Also for me my whole working life time=money and I would never ever spend the time shopping for furniture or antiques.  Or ask my husband to.  I completely respect that you enjoy it! So the $ I might make as an investment would be counterbalanced by the icky experience I would have spending time shopping, picking, ordering, having people bring it to my house, researching etc.  Others love it.

I love the show antique roadshow.  I love museums and seeing antique furniture.  I love reading about antique furniture in novels in context.  And I would absolutely abhor spending any time researching or buying antique furniture.  And it would take away from my  work/other time with my family. 

I think it's a common misconception (I too love that phrase) too that time is just time.  I see this all the time with my friends who do MLMs and spend so many hours trying to sell their snake oil stuff and don't realize that they're really not making any $ if time=money.  Yes of course we can disagree. Your photos are beautiful and I love how much you get out of these pursuits and your talents for decorating!  It's so worth it to you!  

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Jibralta - I truly can't imagine the decisions you have to make about your biological mom and family.  I can't imagine more of a sort of heart-head conflict and I think you are handling it with grace and dignity and I hope what others have written here helps you and feels supportive.  As an outsider they seem really insightful and supportive to me.

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6 hours ago, mylolita said:

I just loved that house so much. The new one is just as nice, more homely though. 

I got to see the photos before you hid them because my browser was open. That sofa/banquette was awesome!

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8 hours ago, mylolita said:

It’s a dilemma regarding your birth Mum. I personally think you should do it! I know you can’t “undo” if it turns out not as expected but I always think if you don’t, you will always wonder right? 

Yes. I may do it soon. Today, I asked my boyfriend, "What's the worst that can happen? She shows up on our doorstep with a machine gun?" Very unlikely. With her, I imagine the worst that can happen is she begs for money. I don't think I'll have any trouble saying "no" to that. And if she actually did show up on my doorstep one day... I think I could handle it. 

My hesitation centers around a few things. First, I know it bothers my mom. She'll never stop me from reaching out to my birthmom, and in fact she's sent my screenshots of what she thinks might be my mom's email address to assist in the process. But I know from past experience that she feels a sense of jealousy.

Second, I'll have to create an actual Facebook account using my name. That really bugs me. My current account is a mashup of both my boyfriend's and my names and we have no friends on it. We use it to subscribe to various content and I use it to stalk my biofamily. So, I'm not using that account to reach out to my birthmom. Besides, she wouldn't recognize the name (if she even knows my name).

Third, how does one reach out to a birthmom? What does one say? This is not uncharted territory, but it is invisible territory. Reading these birthmom (a.k.a. "firstmom") blogs, I see such a range of emotion. Mostly a sense of pain and betrayal. Frequently anger, and the anger is in a surprising direction. It occurs to me that this group of women is the very definition of "marginalized." So marginalized that there isn't even a general theory attached to it about how race, creed, or color have resulted in their marginalization. They are simply invisible and unheard and nobody knows their stories, not even their own families. Crazy.

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I would imagine there must be resources/articles on how to approach this -that might be helpful? On a somewhat related note I thought Dani Shapiro's book Inheritance dealt with the general subject in a compelling way.

It's complicated!

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Yeah, that's basically what I've been doing. It's not preferable, though. For most rites of passage, there is usually someone around to talk to. Someone who's been there before, or who is (or will be) facing the same challenge. The best I can do is read what amounts to an instruction manual--and not even a good instruction manual. At least when I bought my blender, I knew the instructions would be relevant to the product, and that they would work. In this case, it's anything goes. 

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Well, I pulled the trigger. I created an 'official' facebook account and messaged the profile that I know she uses. That was around 6:30. No response yet. I hope I hear back from her even if it's just to say "fck off." But so far acknowledgment of any form is rare with my biofamily. 

Do messages from people you're not friends with show up in your inbox?

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Sidenote about facebook: It's creepy. It pulled up a bunch of people that I know as "Friend suggestions." How does it even know? I'm using a totally different email and a totally different computer.

Venmo is even creepier. I made an account back in 2020 and it pulled up people that I matched with on OKCupid ten years earlier. I didn't use my personal email for online dating, and I didn't have a smartphone--nor did I have these people in my contacts list when I got my smartphone 5 years later. Now that is crazy.

I guess Venmo uses better cookies than Facebook. That's surprising... but then again, Venmo is tied into the banking industry.

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She called me yesterday afternoon!

The timing was a little awkward, as I was walking form my car into my building and was slightly preoccupied with sorting my keys out. I wouldn't have answered the call at all, except I saw her region of Texas in the caller ID and knew it was her.

She was very nice. She had a drawn-out Southern pace that I struggled to honor. My mom--adoptive mom--described it well when I filled her in on things later. She said that as Northerners, we rush to fill in the gaps between sentences. She struggles with this restraint herself, having transplanted herself to the South in recent years.

The first thing that my biological mom said to me was, "This is Ellen."* I responded: "This is Jibralta. I'm so glad you called." At this point, I reached the door to my building. As I unlocked it, she said, "Tell me your middle name." I told her as I pulled the door open. She said, "Then I am your birthmother. I've thought about you a lot in the last few years, wondering how you were."

I said, "I've been just fine. Everything has been ok. I'm doing good."

We talked for two hours. She told me about her brothers and sisters and her nieces and nephews... Turns out I have been stalking the right people in my family tree lol! Surely that makes me less creepy... right? A couple things I learned about Ellen: She is a widow. She was in the Navy for about 10 years. She raised dogs. She is not in great health--but I suspected this part. 

One of the first things she said to me, right as I settled onto my couch, was, "I gave you up because I thought it would be best for you. When I told my parents that I was pregnant, they sat me down on their bed and closed the door to their room. My dad said, 'What were you planning to do? Wait til you were bleeding and about to give birth before you told us?'"

I said, "I guess he had a sense of humor?" She said, "Oh yes. He had the best sense of humor." 

Ellen said that her parents were willing to help her take care of me, that they had the means. But she felt it wasn't fair to them, as they were also raising her younger brother and sister.

In all honesty, that story doesn't totally add up for me. My grandparents raised six children. At this point, the oldest three had been out of the house for at least four years. Ellen was 16, the oldest of what her parents called their "second family" and would have helped with raising me. Throwing another kid into the mix wouldn't have been anything new for this family. 

I think there might be more to the story, but of course I don't know for sure. I didn't press her, and I won't press her. It is what it is. I'm not upset about it. It was nice to talk to her. Hopefully, we will get to talk more in the future.

________________

* I probably don't need to say it, but I will: "Ellen" is a pseudonym.

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Jibralta,

 

What a meeting, you were very brave, you did something really amazing there.

 

I know what you mean about a nagging feeling of, more too it. Do you think you will see her again?

 

Sending good thoughts,

 

Lo x

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8 minutes ago, mylolita said:

Jibralta,

 

What a meeting, you were very brave, you did something really amazing there.

 

I know what you mean about a nagging feeling of, more too it. Do you think you will see her again?

 

Sending good thoughts,

 

Lo x

All the same. What she said. Wow. 

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1 hour ago, mylolita said:

Do you think you will see her again?

Yes, I think so. We left off the conversation agreeing to stay in touch. She was going to update her family about me. I'm not sure who knows and who doesn't. I'm guessing her siblings know.

1 hour ago, mylolita said:

What a meeting, you were very brave, you did something really amazing there.

Thanks. I was just thinking today that between this event and my new job, it feels like a big chapter in my life has come to a close. I have a feeling of completion and of release.

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7 hours ago, Jibralta said:

Yes, I think so. We left off the conversation agreeing to stay in touch. She was going to update her family about me. I'm not sure who knows and who doesn't. I'm guessing her siblings know.

Thanks. I was just thinking today that between this event and my new job, it feels like a big chapter in my life has come to a close. I have a feeling of completion and of release.

Sure thing Jibs sure thing,

 

It might dawn on you later looking back. It’s a very exciting thing as well. 
 

It’s parallels what is going on in a girls life I know at the moment, but she found her father. She couldn’t stop talking about it, full of trepidation and excitement and wonder and also mixed with questions and a bit of personal sorrow there as well. I think they have become good friends recently! 
 

All the best luck with whatever comes from your birth mother! Do you see any resemblance? 

 

x

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On 2/21/2022 at 2:18 PM, Jibralta said:

My primary bedtime book is The Shelters of Stone, which is Jean M Auel's 5th book. It's ok so far. I didn't have to wait 274 pages for another person to appear, thankfully. Also, since I've never read it before, I have the driving force of curiosity on my side. I only read a couple of pages per night.

I'm about halfway through this book now. It's ok. Very similar to the others in terms of plot and theme. She kind of writes the same story over and over again, to be honest. But these books are mainly about the research that she's done on prehistoric times. The story is merely a delivery device. Sort of like how a cigarette is a delivery device for nicotine (as they say in The Insider--great movie BTW. One of my favorites).

I found this interview with Jean Auel and watched the whole thing. You can tell she has an encyclopedic mind. The woman can't help herself--she must research!! And she's done pretty well with it. Sold millions of books and has forged friendships with archeologists and museum curators in the process. Good for her! Following her dream paid off!

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Yesterday, I learned that Will Smith slapped Chris Rock across the face at the Oscars ceremony. This happened about a week ago. I only learned about it because a clip on YouTube with Jim Carrey and Gayle King caught my eye and I watched it. I actually couldn't believe what I was hearing; that someone--Will Smith of all people--Mr. Niceguy--had actually done that. 

I tried to avoid watching the video of the actual slap. But it was plastered all over the articles I read and in the videos I watched, so there was no missing it. When that mask came off, Will Smith didn't seem so charming and amicable anymore. Well, I guess you have to give him credit for being skilled at his trade!

I woke up this morning thinking about what he did, and it's really amazing. He had so much confidence in himself and his righteousness that he got up in front of a crowd of people, in front of TV cameras broadcasting live, and assaulted someone. He was very comfortable doing that. Most people at the Oscars are nervous about whether they are going to win. But not Will. Will was very comfortable.

And the audience at the Oscars--they applauded him! Ah, people are so stupid. So stupid. This human race of ours has a love affair with its own destruction. There's so much wealth within our grasp. Real wealth, not money or material goods. And we can't see it, can't understand it, and we've forgotten how to use it. That's ok. Everything dies. Nothing is permanent but change.

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